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James Earl Jones
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Former U.S. Army lieutenant Jason Higgs (Sidney Poitier) who, after becoming a black militant during the 1960s Black Reveolutionary movement, is wounded when he pulls a payroll heist to help imprisoned "brothers" and has to hide from the police. Social worker Cathy Ellis (Joanna Shimkus) falls in love with Higgs while helping him elude capture. Loosely based on the 1947 Carol Reed film "Odd Man Out." Written by
The Lost Man is an interesting change-of-pace for Sidney Poitier though not compelling enough as a realistic thriller
Continuing to review movies featuring people of color in chronological order for Black History Month, we're now at 1969 when Sidney Poitier-who suffered a backlash from his fans of his race two years before because of his growing popularity among his Caucasian audience-was trying to get with the "black power" movement by making this film about such a group trying to rob a white establishment bank to fund for his "brothers". His performance, among many others of his skin color, isn't bad and the action scenes are pretty exciting. But the story gets a bit muddled when he strikes a romance with a young white social worker named Cathy Ellis (Joanna Shimkus). Knowing him and Ms. Shimkus would eventually get married years later, it's fascinating seeing them being romantic with each other but, really, does she really belong in this picture? As a result, the climax leaves one wondering just who the audience was this picture for. Still, if you're curious enough about Poitier's work in order to watch everything he's been in, The Lost Man is at least worth a look. Among others of color in this film: Al Freeman, Jr. as Dennis Lawrence, Leon Bibb as Eddie Maxie, Beverly Todd as Sally Carter a.k.a Dorothy Starr, Paul Winfield as Orville Turner, Bernie Hamilton as Reggie Page, Dick Anthony Williams as Ronald, Arnold Williams as Terry, Virginia Capers as Theresa, Vonetta McGee as Diane Lawrence, Paulene Myers as Grandma, Lee Weaver as Willie, Doug Johnson as Teddy, and Lincoln Kilpatrick as a minister. By the way, Ms. Todd is from my birthtown of Chicago and she has an interesting throwaway dialogue scene with Poitier about her Dorothy alias when she mentions the late Dorothy Dandridge especially when one knows about Sidney's previous acting stint with her on the film version of Porgy and Bess.
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